Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dancing Cat is dancing!

Article from JoongAngIlbo below.

Cats are the subject of a new documentary that is likely to change how the animals are seen in a country that has traditionally regarded them with suspicion.

The film originated with Lee Yong-han, a professional poet who also describes himself as a traveler. Lee said he became interested in the animals after observing a stray cat family one night three years ago. He started photographing and writing about cats and would upload the content to his blog, which has since made him famous. He published some of the material from the blog in the book, “Hello and Thank You Stray Cats,” which has sold more than 35,000 copies since its publication in 2009 and became the inspiration for the film. After the publication of the book, Lee met up with Yoon Gi-hyung, who works as a television commercial director

Yoon originally conceived the project as a 20-minute short with photos of Lee, but said that after deciding to incorporate more material he spent about a year and a half filming stray cats around his place with his camcorder.

The film alternates between the two men’s creations, with interludes of animation and indie music in between. The structure is simple but the film is entertaining, informative and even touching.

As we see the two men’s interactions with the cats develop, we also gain insight into the animals’ behavior. Some of the more entertaining shots show the cats playing with plastic bags, while more moving scenes show them delivering and nursing their young or picking through chicken bones out of starvation (this cat was later adopted by Lee). Through it all, we also witness the cats’ struggle to survive and, when they lose this battle, the lonely deaths they die in the middle of the streets.

The film is not a serious documentary, but it does pose some interesting questions about how cats live while ultimately revealing something about their human counterparts.